Lapid blasts haredim in maiden Knesset speech

Finance minister vows to recruit a lot of yeshiva students to IDF service; Knesset rejects 6 no-confidence motions.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
April 22, 2013 20:01
1 minute read.
Yair Lapid makes first speech before Knesset, Feb 11

Yair Lapid 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Finance Minister Yair Lapid lashed out at haredi Knesset members Monday evening in his first speech in the Knesset since joining the cabinet.

Lapid was not expected to speak in the Knesset plenum on Monday, but speeches by haredi MKs angered him and he decided to respond.

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“This government is built on hatred,” United Torah Judaism MK Meir Porush said in a speech that upset Lapid. “It is a government of people with no experience in public service.

They only care about how their picture looks on Facebook.”

Lapid also came under fire from haredi MKs for posting on Facebook on Shabbat.

Lapid responded that he could write whatever he wanted on Facebook and do whatever he wants on Shabbat, and defended the make-up of the government.

“There is such a thing as a government without haredim,” Lapid told UTJ MKs. “The country has stopped getting instructions from you. We were sick of it. That’s why you no longer control the Finance Committee. You were part of the government that created the deficit that I must fix. You weren’t the cheapest coalition members.”

Shas chairman Eli Yishai responded by calling Lapid’s speech arrogant and mockingly asking him why he made haredim sound so wealthy.

The coalition easily defeated seven no-confidence motions, most of which were on economic issues.

“The opposition voted no-confidence in the state budget even though no one knows what is in it,” Lapid said.


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